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between the two sides were put off for now. egypt's foreign minister, mohammed kamel amr, announced the breakthrough with secretary of state hillary clinton at his side. >> egypt has exerted efforts and conducted intensive discussions since the renewed outbreak of hostilities in the gaza strip with all parties: the palestinian leadership, the these efforts and communications managed to reach an agreement to a ceasefire and the return of calm and halt of the violence and the bloodshed that was witnessed recently. >> the united states welcomes the agreement today for a ceasefire in gaza. for it to hold, the rocket attacks must end, a broader calm returned. in the days ahead, the united states will work with partners across region to consolidate this progess, improve conditions for the people of gaza, provide security for the people of israel. >> woodruff: a short time later this afternoon, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu told reporters he leaves open the possibility of a ground invasion of gaza at a later date, but agreeing to a ceasefire made sense now. >> i know there are
when there will be a need. >> suarez: with today's escalation, egypt pressed for an end to the israeli air strikes. today, palestinian president mahmoud abbas asked the arab league to call an urgent meeting to discuss the strikes, and united nations chief ban ki-moon called for a "de-escalation of tensions." >> suarez: for more, i'm joined by phone with sheera frenkel, middle east correspondent for the "times of london" in jerusalem. sheera, we reported on the rising tensions between the israelis and the palestinians in gaza. but was there something in particular that set this off? >> in the last three or four hours that there have been a slowdown in hostilities between israel and the gaza strip. in fact, earlier in today there had been no exchanges of violence across the border. but when i spoke to officials about why they decided to start targeted assassinations and launch the operation in gaza, their answer was actually intelligence data they had received that militants in gaza had been smuggling in more high tech weapons and that it would really create damage to the military arsena
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